Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Europe A Prophecy iii A Preface

Here is an earlier post on 'Five Windows'.

Wikipedia Commons
Plate iii of
Europe a Prophecy


This Plate appears only in Copy K and Copy H of Blake Archive.

PLATE iii:
Five windows light the cavern'd Man; thro' one he breathes the air;
Thro' one, hears music of the spheres; thro' one, the eternal vine
Flourishes, that he may recieve the grapes; thro' one can look.
And see small portions of the eternal world that ever groweth;
Thro' one, himself pass out what time he please, but he will not;
For stolen joys are sweet, & bread eaten in secret pleasant.
So sang a Fairy mocking as he sat on a streak'd Tulip,
Thinking none saw him: when he ceas'd I started from the trees!
And caught him in my hat as boys knock down a butterfly
How know you this said I small Sir? where did you learn this song
Seeing himself in my possession thus he answerd me:
My master, I am yours. command me, for I must obey.
Then tell me, what is the material world, and is it dead?
He laughing answer'd: I will write a book on leaves of flowers,
If you will feed me on love-thoughts, & give me now and then
A cup of sparkling poetic fancies; so when I am tipsie,
I'll sing to you to this soft lute; and shew you all alive
The world, where every particle of dust breathes forth its joy.
I took him home in my warm bosom: as we went along
Wild flowers I gatherd; & he shew'd me each eternal flower:
He laugh'd aloud to see them whimper because they were pluck'd.
They hover'd round me like a cloud of incense: when I came
Into my parlour and sat down, and took my pen to write:
My Fairy sat upon the table, and dictated EUROPE.
(Erdman 58-9)

So sang a Fairy mocking as he sat on a streak'd Tulip,
In a picturesque way Blake introduces these visions.
My Fairy sat upon the table, and dictated EUROPE.
Five windows light the cavern'd Man

Look at this from MHH plate 4:

Man has no Body distinct from his Soul for that calld Body is
a portion of Soul discernd by the five Senses. the chief inlets
of Soul in this age.

Look at this from the First Book of Urizen:
Urizen was Blake's creator. This is an account of his Creation.
8. In harrowing fear rolling round;                    
His nervous brain shot branches
Round the branches of his heart.
On high into two little orbs
And fixed in two little eaves
Hiding carefully from the wind,                         
His Eyes beheld the deep,
And a third Age passed over:
And a state of dismal woe.

9. The pangs of hope began,
In heavy pain striving, struggling.      
Two Ears in close volutions.
From beneath his orbs of vision
Shot spiring out and petrified
As they grew. And a fourth Age passed
And a state of dismal woe.          

10. In ghastly torment sick;
Hanging upon the wind;

Two Nostrils bent down to the deep.
And a fifth Age passed over;
And a state of dismal woe.

11. In ghastly torment sick;
Within his ribs bloated round,         
A craving Hungry Cavern;
Thence arose his channeld Throat,
And like a red flame a Tongue
Of thirst & of hunger appeard.
And a sixth Age passed over:          
And a state of dismal woe.
12. Enraged & stifled with torment
He threw his right Arm to the north
His left Arm to the south
Shooting out in anguish deep,           
And his Feet stampd the nether Abyss
In trembling & howling & dismay.
And a seventh Age passed over:
And a state of dismal woe.
(Erdman 76)


forrest said...

Nothing here about "and it was good." A bit more like Richie Havens: "It's the first day of Creation/ which he only perceives as limitation". (But of course limitation is what makes an art form manageable.)

Creation of the universe from inside, from imagination, growing a universe of stars from the concept of eyes -- All right, that seems to me also more like how it would have been done. Why this gnostic assumption that Creation was a mistake? It could hardly have been the first time!

I'm still hoping for more of an answer to my question on that other blog... A shorter answer than all this, but something, huh, please?

Larry said...

Forrest, she might try my Blakean Bible at